On the Waterfront

Feb. 27 2014, the NFTA Board of Commissioners authorized the sale of approximately 354 acres of real property along the waterfront known as the NFTA Boat Harbor, Gallagher Beach and the outer harbor to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.  The agreement calls for the NFTA to operate the boat harbor and Gallagher Beach for the 2014 summer season.

Under the proposal, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation will acquire the land from the NFTA to plan for future development and use, and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will operate half of the property, encompassing the NFTA Boat Harbor and Gallagher Beach, as a new state park. As part of the agreement the NFTA will continue to operate the boat harbor through the 2014 season.

The initiative is in line with the plan presented by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this past fall and should help the authority better concentrate on its central business: Moving people safely and economically around the region.

“The NFTA has always promised the community it would do the right thing, and the bottom line is this was not part of our core responsibilities of transportation,” Commissioner Peter G. Demakos said.

The Niagara Frontier Port Authority - forerunner to the NFTA - took control of the Buffalo harbor in 1957 and became part of the larger, multi modal NFTA when it was formed in 1967. While waterways are still part of the area’s transportation system, public transportation – buses, trains and commercial planes is the authority’s primary mission.

May 12, 2014 . . . It has become official. Today the NFTA transferred 340 acres of outer harbor property consisting of a 1,033 slip boat marina, Gallagher Beach property and a vacant parcel north of the Bell Slip to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. Governor Cuomo then officially designated the creation of Buffalo Harbor State Park, the first in the City of Buffalo. To read the exciting details regarding the future of the property click here.

November 19, 2014 . . . Upon successfully operating the marina during the 2014 season, the NFTA officially turned over the keys to the boat harbor and Gallagher Beach to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, fulfilling the agreement set forth early this year.